direct marketing

Hey, you know those garbagey coupon booklets you’ve received in the mail at every place you’ve ever lived? And those oversized glossy advertisements for gyms and big-box stores?

Junk mail, in other words. Mail so undeniably junky that it makes you seriously consider keeping a trash can right next to your mailbox to save yourself the effort of carrying it to the kitchen.

Well, I just wanted to let you know that the people who produce and distribute junk mail don’t call it junk mail. They call it “direct marketing.”

Changing the name of something doesn’t change what it is, but it can change the way people think about it. In this case, though, I suspect the only people the junk mailers are fooling are themselves. And who could blame them? How would you like to be at some party and have to explain in a loud clear voice — just everyone else in the room stops talking — that you make junk mail for a living?